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The ever-elusive question of where to go in 2012

The ever-elusive question of where to go in 2012

Old Jan 2nd, 2012, 05:53 PM
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The ever-elusive question of where to go in 2012

First off, apologies for being so absent on the board in 2011. After a very long year at work (working on one of the biggest projects of my life and having had to live remotely in Seattle for 3 months) I'm back up on the surface for a breather--well at least for a week before I head back to work in Seattle again.

2012 should provide many travel adventures (as did 2011: Costa Rica, China and Hawaii!) In fact, I've already got one trip planned for February: going to help Lori & Ponheary at the PLF for 2 weeks (and, of course, the requisite time with my Bangkok BFF, Pook!) Unfortunately David cannot join me on this trip, so I'll be going solo then. It'll be great, actually, to get some perspective on life...spend some quality alone time, etc. I cannot wait for that trip!

But I'm actually starting this thread to help figure out where I'm going to go with David at the *end* of this year. We're planning on a 2-3 week trip for December (over the holidays and the 1st week of January.)

Right now I've got 3 options:

1) India - first choice and our plan IF we can get frequent flyer award seats. That's gonna be tough from what I've research so far. A) cuz it's India and B) cuz it's Christmas.

2) Sri Lanka & Singapore - been dying to go there forever and it's our second choice but I hear December is an awful time to go there due to the monsoon season. I'm hoping Kathie (and others) can chime in on this.

3) Burma & Singapore - third choice and probably the most sure bet as far as tickets, price and timing go. But I hesitate a bit here because I *feel like*--perhaps erroneously--that Burma will be very similar to other SE Asia experiences we've had (Laos, rural Thailand, etc.) Again, I could be completely off there but it's just a hunch.

Anyway, looking forward to getting any and all input.

I know y'all will definitely be pitching for India, as are we, but it really will have to do with what we can score plane ticket-wise. Otherwise, I'm very curious to know thoughts on the 2nd two options.

Happy New Year, gang. Good to be back!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2012, 06:04 PM
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Billy Burma is definitely different to rural Thailand, Cambodia and the rest of S.E. Asia. Unique culture, people and architectures. Inside Burma itself one region is different from another as well both architecturally and landscape. You will love Burma and I can you some home video when you're here next month of our trip there. My vote is for Burma!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2012, 06:27 PM
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Burma is so different from anywhere else you've been. Read my trip report from our just-completed trip for for some appetizers. And Burma is just opening up, so I expect it will start to change. Sooner is better than later for Burma.

And zip me an email when you have a chance - we keep talking abut getting together here and just haven't done it. We'll be glad to talk with you abut Burma - a half an hour with Cheryl and you'll book your tickets!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Absolutely agree with Kathie. Burma! Now! While it is still NOT like the rest of southeast Asia. I was there in 2004, and it sounds like its already changed some - I thought it was magical, and how I imagined the rest of SEA was several decades ago.

[Are you in Seattle, Kathie? I should be there in May, maybe a mini-GTG?]
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Old Jan 2nd, 2012, 08:27 PM
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as the others have said burma is unique and probably like some of SEA in the 1950's... or before...

i think you would like all of them but india is really unique... udaipur is now my fav.... i like jaipur as well and of course varanasi is unique of uniques...
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Old Jan 2nd, 2012, 10:53 PM
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Burma gets my vote, it was amazing and agree with Thursdays go now whilst it's still relatively unchanged. (just got back from Singaporetoo, so can give you a couple of restaurant tips if you end up going)
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 03:27 AM
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Singapore/Burma easiest for me for short Xmas time travel.
www.marinabaysands.com my fav there agoda.com directrooms.com
discounts there and in Burma.Good experience at the Chatrium there.Exotic developing different the up and comer in Asia.
Will be the chair of ASEAN this year.

India requires more time for me generally though
you could do some limited touring mainly golden triangle in the time you have.For me requires more time to adjust
to truly appreciate the spiritual nature of india beyond the dodgy crowds metro grime and poverty in many areas.

Happy Planning!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 06:43 AM
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Yes, Thursdays, I'm in Seattle. Let us know when you'll be here and we'd love to get together.

Filmwill, as usual, qw's advice and info is a bit off... Don't use booking sites for Burma, you'll need a local agent to get you the best prices. And Burma will not chair ASEAN this year. In 2010 they were supported to be back in the rotation to chair ASEAN, their actual date is several years away.

What is different about Burma isn't just the level of development (though that is part of what makes visiting Burma feel like time travel). Burma has its own unique history and its unique approach to Theravada Buddhism. Burma cut itself off from the rest of the world for decades and is just beginning to open up.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 07:06 AM
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I don't think weather would be much of a problem in Sri Lanka:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/sri-lanka/weather

That said, Sri Lanka would be my third choice, especially since the Christmas holiday is such a busy time there. I lean towards Myanmar as my first choice but only because it is rapidly changing. Bob's description of it as SE Asia in the 1950's is accurate as is Pook's observation that culturally and architecturally it is different from other areas of SE Asia. You can cover a lot of ground in Myanmar over 2-3 weeks even with a stop in Singapore.

India, on the other hand is unique and not to be missed. I don't know much about the routes from LAX, but we scored a Unite saver business class award to Delhi from Boston via Frankfort on Lufthansa for next October - worth looking into if you truly have your heart(s) set on India.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 07:17 AM
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Kathie - great! I'll put up a post after I buy the next set of train tickets.

Filmwill, you could easily spend three weeks in Myanmar if you go beyond the usual circuit, but if you're in Singapore with extra time you could take a quick look at Melaka and KL in Malaysia as well.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 07:27 PM
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So many great suggestions, guys. I should expect no less, of course.

Well it sounds like an overwhelming amount of support for Burma. Obviously we'll still try for India first and foremost but I'm not expecting much in terms of tickets. But I guess you never know! Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised?

In planning a backup trip to Burma, I think we wouldn't take the full 3 weeks for that trip (that's a luxury we'll reserve for India alone since it's a once-in-an-every-decade kind of thing for us to be able to do that work-wise.)

That said if we had say 14 or 15 days, how many days is right for Singapore? 2? 4? Should we break those up both in the front and end of the trip?

On a side note: it's funny about Sri Lanka. I've been bothering David for years about going there and he's had zero interest. Then all of a sudden not only New York magazine mentions it, but T&L comes out with their 12 Places to Go this month and guess who's #1? Well now all of a sudden a groundswell of interest. Oh, married life! I supposed SL can wait though.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 07:28 PM
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BTW, Kathie, I'll email you. We must get together this month. I'd love to hear that 30 minute talk from Cheryl (and much more talk, of course!)
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 07:32 PM
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Great! We will look forward to getting together.
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